Team Cigar Review: Alec Bradley Project 40 06.52

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Cigar Details: Alec Bradley Project 40 06.52

  • Vitola: Toro
  • Length: 6″
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua
  • Binder: Brazilian Habano
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: J. Fuego Cigar Co. de Nicaragua
  • Blender: Undisclosed
  • Price: $5.50
  • Release Date: May 2019
  • Source: Alec Bradley

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper on the Alec Bradley Project 40 06.52 is medium brown and has some prominently raised veins present along with a network of finer veins. The seams are smooth and pretty well hidden while the head is finished off with a triple cap that has the top cap with raised edges. There are two bands with the primary being white, black and gold and denoting the line and brand. The secondary strip band is metallic light blue and denotes Experimental Series. The aroma from the wrapper is a mix of hay and sweet tobacco while the foot brings wood and some stone fruit sweetness. The pre-light draw brings cedar and sweet hay with a mild spiciness on my lips.

Pre-light Experience

The Alec Bradley Project 40 06.52 is quite awful in terms of appearance. The wrapper has this sunlight faded brown look and really reminds me of fallen leaves in the fall. It has some tooth to it with medium veins. It is firm in texture and has an aroma of hay, wood, earth and tobacco.

Pre-light Experience

The Alec Bradley Project 40 06.52 is double banded, with a primary band in black and white lettering, on a white background and an accompanying story, along with a black background highlight. The secondary band is quite small and is white on blue indicating ‘Experimental Series’. Nosing the cigar, I picked up aromas of sweetness, baked bread and some general chlorophyll. In the foot, tobacco and plum, along with some faint barnyard.

Pre-light Experience

The Alec Bradley Project 40 06.52 is a Toro sized cigar with a Colorado Claro wrapper shade. Construction look and feel is good as veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll on the looser side but it is uniformed and head with a well wrapped cap. Nosing the wrapper has a mix of cedar and plums. Nosing the foot tells the same but heightened. Cold draw tells cedar, jammed plums and hay.

First Third

The cigar begins with a mix of cedar and baking spice. At a quarter inch in, the baking spice has morphed to black pepper and some anise is becoming identifiable. At three quarters of an inch in, the cedar and pepper are up front as some mustiness is now in the background while the anise is pretty faint. The retrohale starts with a fair amount of black pepper zing and is followed by cedar and mustiness. At an inch and a quarter, the anise is gone and a light roasted nuttiness has joined in. As the third comes to a close, the black pepper has reduced in intensity, but it is still paired with the cedar while the mustiness is right behind and the nuttiness has gone away. The strength in this third was slightly above medium.

First Third

The first third opens up with some sharp spices and white bread notes. I am getting some wood on top of that and the finish is of cinnamon and sugar. Can’t judge a book by its cover I guess. First third is fairly solid and enjoyable. I would classify the cigar as being medium in body, strength and flavors.

First Third

My first flavors are delicate baked bread. Lingering mid profile sweetness comes next, with a clean finish. The retrohale is fairly nondescript with no flavor, not even tobacco being present. Some very mild baking spices develop along with lingering hay as the cigar settles in. Baking spices eventually come through on the retrohale at light plus. On the post draw, light leather. Overall, the first third barely hits the light bodied strength level.

First Third

The first third has a medium body and strength profile with flavors that are spicy, naturally sweet and nutty. More precisely, red pepper spice, sweet and creamy nuttiness and milk coffee. Retrohaling accentuates the red pepper and sweet and creamy nuttiness. The finish is medium length with a lingering cedar.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the black pepper returns to its previous intensity. At a quarter inch in, the cedar takes a slight lead in the profile over the pepper. At a half inch in, the cedar and pepper are back to even. At an inch in, the mustiness has increased to become even with the cedar and black pepper. The retrohale has musty cedar up front with the pepper slightly behind. At an inch and a quarter, the pepper has become very mellow and a light mintiness joins the profile. As the third comes to a close, the cedar and mustiness are up front with the black pepper in the background and a light mintiness. The strength in this third remained at slightly above medium.

Second Third

When I get into the second third, I find an emergence of coconut shaving notes and it is followed by some dry wood. There is some peppery spice present with the cigar as well and it has a finish of salted caramel and dirt. Like before, the cigar is medium in body and strength and the flavors are pairing well with the cigar.

Second Third

No significant profile change as the flavors are still light minus. Mild baking spices through the retrohale along with some pepper on the mid profile. Mid profile breadiness joins, and lingering cedar. Toasted earth as the cigar settles in. As the cigar progresses, mild sweetness joins the cedar, and the cedar ends up defining the profile. By the halfway point, mild cocoa is barely detectable, and also comes through on the retrohale. Once again, I’m straining to pick up flavors that are just hitting light strength levels.

Second Third

The second third continues to give plenty of distinct full flavors in red pepper spice, naturally sweet and creamy nuttiness and milk coffee. Strength ramps to medium plus while body maintains medium.

Final Third

The final third begins with musty cedar and a faint smoky meat note. The pepper and mintiness are no longer present. At a half inch in, the smoky meat note goes away. The retrohale mirrors the musty cedar profile. At an inch in, the faint mintiness rejoins the profile. The cigar wraps up with the musty cedar and faint minty profile. The strength in this third remained at slightly above medium.

Final Third

The final third shows a little bit of a demise from the second third, but is still solid overall. I am getting some wood and leather notes and with that is a finish of spices, some red pepper present and bread notes. Like before, medium in body, strength and flavors.

Final Third

Cedar is the primary flavor moving into the last third. As the cigar settles in, mild baking spices are present in the middle of the profile. No other detectable changes through the remainder of the cigar.

Final Third

No changes to note within the final third. Still full flavored with the same red pepper, sweet and creamy nuttiness and milk coffee. Strength and body is still medium plus and medium.

Burn

The burn line was slightly wavy throughout but never needed any attention. The ash held on in inch and a quarter increments.

Burn

The burn from start to finish was quite good and the cigar performed well throughout. It was never a perfect burn line, but it was far from being a minor problem.

Burn

The burn is uneven through the first third. The burn results in a canoe and a touch-up. The burn canoes again requiring a second touch-up. No other burn issues through the remainder of the cigar.

Burn

The burn had its fair amount of issues. The main issues being an uneven burn that resulted in multiple touch-ups and a flaky ash going everywhere with practically each draw. The burning temperature was cool the entire time.

Draw

The draw was slightly tighter than I prefer but didn’t cause any issues with the smoking experience.

Overall

The cigar began with musty wood and baking spice which quickly morphed to black pepper. Some roasted nuttiness joined in for a bit and then mustiness came in to line up with the core cedar and pepper for most of the cigar. It wrapped up with just musty cedar and faint mintiness. Construction was very good and never needed any attention while the strength was slightly above medium the whole way. The Alec Bradley Project 40 06.52 had a nice flavor profile through the first two thirds with some nice transitions and then dropped down bit in the final third. The price point for this vitola in combination with the flavor profile makes this a must try. If you’re a fan of cedar and pepper with some fuller strength, then this is for you. I would have no problem smoking more of these and would easily recommend it for others to try. It’s nice to find a cigar with value like this.

Draw

Draw was a little loose for my liking, but I would not consider it a problem overall.

Overall

If you judge the Alec Bradley Project 40 06.52 off the appearance you are going to be missing out on an actually great smoking experience. The finish was a little lacking, but overall the first and second third smoked very well. In some ways, I would love to see how this cigar smoked with some additional quality tobacco and better wrapper. I think they could have produced a superior blend and have it be sold at a higher cost. But, for the cost I would buy these without hesitation. I would love to see how consistent they smoke.

Draw

The draw has at most a half notch of resistance, putting it squarely in the ideal area for draw.

Overall

The Alec Bradley Project 40 06.52 is a blend that has been generating a lot of buzz and I was eager to try out. I think there’s such a thing as subtlety and nuance, and then there’s the flavor profile here which I found myself grasping for definition or character throughout the entire experience. There were pleasant flavors at several points but the intensity was so mild as to be almost background notes. Overall, an average experience for me. Total smoking time was 2 hours and 4 minutes.

Draw

Unlike the burn performance, the draw had no issues and was perfect.

Overall

Bang for the buck. That’s all I really need to say to wrap up this review of the Alec Bradley Project 40 06.52. But for the sake of most people just reading the overall notes, I’ll say more. Although not an overly transitional cigar, the main consistent flavors of red pepper spice, rich sweet and creamy nuttiness and milk coffee were full and distinct. Some points off for the pesky burn but overall, absolutely screaming deal for $5.50 MSRP.

Aaron
Seth
John
Jiunn
GoodPre
Light
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Very Good
GoodFirst
Third
GoodFirst
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AverageFirst
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Good
GoodSecond
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AverageSecond
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AverageFinal
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Very GoodBurnVery GoodBurnVery GoodBurnAverage
Very GoodDrawGoodDrawAmazingDrawAmazing
GoodOverallGoodOverallAverageOverallGood

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

6.57

Cost/Point

$0.84

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

6.42

Cost/Point

$0.86

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

5.65

Cost/Point

$0.97

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.87

Cost/Point

$0.80

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Alec Bradley Project 40 06.52
Aaron LoomisTeam Cigar Review: Alec Bradley Project 40 06.52

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